Overcoming Lack of Employee Engagement and Motivation

by: Nichole Gunn December 17, 2010

Employee motivation is a major player in productivity. Along with applicable skills and health, an employee needs to be motivated and engaged to work effectively. But these concepts are very abstract and hard to pin down. How do you put forward concrete strategies to combat a lack of employee engagement and motivation?

Assign more responsibility.

What?! Give an already unmotivated even more tasks? Yep. As an employer, it can be challenging to motivate workers, especially if the company has a large staff. But, a key factor in keeping workers engaged is to provide enough employee responsibility to encourage a desire, or motivation, to reach objectives and goals.

Ideally, aligning employees’ job functions with what makes them feel fulfilled will foster motivation. Broaden employee’s responsibilities to be in line with some of their passions, if at all possible. Sometimes, employees are disengaged because they don't feel like they're trusted or important. Offering them a greater or more diverse set of job responsibilities can get the motivated.

Make it meaningful.

Writing for the Sydney Morning Herald, occupational health expert Amanda Gore explains that employees can take steps to keep themselves motivated, “Find a bigger purpose in what you’re doing no matter what your job. Find a way to redefine what you do so that you can see the higher purpose behind what you do."

The new generation hitting the workforce, Generation Y, will find that tidbit of information important. The Gen Y group does not consider their jobs, just jobs, as prior workers entering the workforce did. This new workforce wants to find purpose and value in their chosen career paths. It’s up to employers to meet these needs to the fullest extent.

Give them the tools to succeed.

There’s an expression, ‘you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.’ Companies will need to provide the tools needed to fight lack of employee engagement and motivation. This may entail partnering job function to the unique talents or needs of the employee. It may also require initiating incentive programs geared toward workplace education and training that helps identify employee strengths and broadens them, along with providing clear-cut job objectives.

On the flip side, employees are ultimately responsible for their own satisfaction and motivation. While managers can guide workers along to help them overcome lack of motivation, the workers will need to take Gore’s advice to heart and find or create their own rewards.


About Nichole Gunn